We can't change the past but we can learn from it. We probably won't escape the consequences of our bad choices but they can serve as a warning not to make wrong choices in our lives right now. As each of us reflect on our past years, we may discern certain patterns. As an example, just this past year, did we simply squeeze "Devotions" in or were we more faithful than anytime before and was our time alone with God more meaningful than in previous years? If we just squeezed them in, we need to ask God to help us change that pattern. We need to discipline ourselves to give top priority to prayer and Bible study. What concrete steps can one take to accomplish this? First of all, give it all the time it takes for it to dawn upon you that you are in the Presence of Almighty God. Secondly, learn to distinguish between a "religious" duty and the unsurpassing wonder of friendship (as well as relationship) with your Creator/Savior. Thirdly, focus intensely on what He says to you, in His Word! God is speaking! Listen! If you consider the implications of this unique privilege and honor, you will be motivated to put it at the top of your "To Do List." Suppose that the Apostle Paul was enabled to leave Heaven for 24 hours and he contacted you and set a time to come to your home. Would you be sure to be there, no matter what? A greater than Paul desires an appointment with you. He is awaiting your arrival in the "prayer closet." Any bad pattern can be changed for good, if approached with thoughtful, determined, and prayerful dedication. Selah! Last year's failures can be steppingstones to this coming year's victories. Ron
"….I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. ….I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do…..I press toward the mark for the prize….." (From Philippians 3:12-13).